Dec 31, 2007 4:53 PM EST
The Boston Celtics? Paul Pierce and the New Orleans Hornets? Chris Paul today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 24 through Sunday, Dec 30.
Pierce led the Celtics to a 4-0 week averaging 27.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals including a season-high 37 points at Seattle on Dec. 27. He helped lead the Celtics to their first undefeated four-game West coast road trip since the 1992-93 season bringing the Celtics to eight straight wins on the road, the longest such streak since the 1980-81 season.
Dec 31, 2007 9:08 AM EST
After his right hamstring felt tight yesterday morning, Celtics' guard Rajon Rondo missed last night's 110-91 victory over the the Lakers.
Rondo suffered the injury late in the first quarter of Boston's 104-98 victory at Utah Saturday night.
The second-year guard said he felt fine following a workout at the Staples Center before last night's game and had hoped to convince Coach Doc Rivers to play him.
Rivers, however, decided to sit Rondo, who hadn't missed a game this season.
"I don't want to [sit out], but it's a long season," Rondo said before the game. "It's one game, but it's a big game."
"Still, it's a long season. I don't want to further my injury."
Rondo is averaging 9.4 points, 5.3 assists, and 3.9 rebounds through 28 games.
Dec 31, 2007 9:03 AM EST
Can the Boston Celtics make history this season and join the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls as the only teams in NBA history to win 70 games? Phil Jackson, the resident expert on this matter, isn't certain yet.
Jackson coached that Chicago team to a 72-10 record and the fourth of his six championships with the Bulls. The Celtics entered Sunday on pace for a NBA-record 73 victories. Will it happen?
"I don't want to guess," Jackson said. "It's so difficult. They have Detroit in their conference. Teams have injuries, and they wear down. It's just too hard to say. When we're in March, we can talk about it."
Dec 31, 2007 12:27 AM EST
They have a lot of tradition between them, and they brought back one blast from the past on Sunday that some might argue could have remained in the time capsule.
Playing against the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers wore throwback jerseys featuring vintage 1970s short shorts. Smiles could be seen from many courtside fans as Kobe Bryant and the Lakers took the court. Laughing former Laker Rick Fox snapped a couple of pictures.
Forward Trevor Ariza even wore knee pads a la Magic Johnson.
But the Lakers did find their fashion sense at halftime, coming out of the break in regular baggy shorts.
Dec 29, 2007 3:14 AM EST
Phil Jackson pulled even with Red Auerbach in regular-season victories, 5 1/2 seasons after tying the Celtics coach for the most NBA championships won.
Kobe Bryant had 31 points and seven assists before sitting out the fourth quarter and the Lakers beat the Jazz 123-109 Friday night, giving Jackson his 938th career win and a share of seventh place on the career list.
Dec 28, 2007 3:54 AM EST
As always, Ray Allen arrived at KeyArena hours early, getting his pregame shooting completed before anyone started arriving.
Just like every other game he's played in the arena during the last five years, Allen started heading toward the SuperSonics' locker room when he was done.
Boston's All-Star guard then caught himself and realized on this night, he's a visitor.
"It's definitely an odd feeling," Allen said.
Allen returned to Seattle for the first time Thursday night since being shipped to Boston on draft-day in a trade for Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West and the No. 5 pick in the draft that became rookie Jeff Green.
Nerves might have had something to do with one of Allen's worst games of the year. He shot only 4-of-13 for 10 points, but the Celts don't rely on one person these days. Paul Pierce picked up the slack with 37 points, and Boston cruised to a 104-96 win.
Dec 27, 2007 9:01 AM EST
One dominating stretch in the second quarter turned out to be enough to carry the Boston Celtics to a win in their first West Coast game this season.
Coach Doc Rivers knows his team will need to play more complete games to beat some of the elite Western Conference teams on the road.
The NBA-leading Celtics (23-3) started slowly, scoring just 18 points in the opening quarter and trailing by four early in the second. That's when they found their groove by closing the half on the big run to go up 53-29.
The 2007-08 Celtics became the fourth team in franchise history to start 23-3 with the win.
Dec 22, 2007 1:58 PM EST
Massachusetts' own Travis Best would love to come home from overseas to help out the Celtics.
The ex-NBA player, now playing in Italy for Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna, said yesterday he would be interested in a backup point guard role for Boston.
Best's comments come a day after ex-Celtic Gary Payton's agent said his client would be interested in the job. The Celtics currently have two roster spots open.
"I'd be happy to contribute to that situation in any way," Best said. "I'd like to help the team win. I'd make the situation better. I've been to the [NBA] Finals. I know what it takes. I know how to contribute in a veteran way."
Dec 21, 2007 6:26 AM EST
Ex-Celtics' point guard Gary Payton watched on television from his Las Vegas home Wednesday night as his former team lost to the Pistons. And once Chauncey Billups hit the winning free throws with a tenth of a second remaining, Payton called his agent.
"He called me and said, 'Hey, I'm reminding you that the Celtics are a team I feel like I can help,' " said agent Aaron Goodwin.
The Celtics have been pleased with the play of second-year point guard Rajon Rondo. But there has been a feeling that Boston still needs a veteran backup at the position.
Coach Doc Rivers said the Celtics "would be in trouble" if Rondo got hurt, but he also likes his roster. Rivers said he hasn't talked to anyone in Celtics' management about Payton. Goodwin said that while he has talked to Danny Ainge several times about Payton, the Celtics' basketball boss hasn't shown strong interest. Other available veteran free agent point guards include Earl Boykins and Keith McLeod.
"I like my team, and I would kind of like to play this a little bit longer and see where we go," said Rivers. "Clearly [Wednesday] night, when Rajon was off the floor it changed the game. But we have ways of correcting that. If not, then maybe. But right now we'll just let this team play it out a little bit more."
"We're not panicking. Having said that, we're aware of it; there is no doubt about it. I'm just going to coach the ones now, and we'll worry about the other stuff later."
Dec 21, 2007 2:28 AM EST
Fourteen-year veteran Chris Webber is close to returning to the NBA, with the Pistons his likely destination, a source close to Webber told ESPN.com.
"Look for him to be back the first week of January," the source said.
The Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers had also inquired about Webber's services, with the Heat intensifying their efforts after backup center Alonzo Mourning suffered an apparent season-ending injury to his patellar tendon in a game at Atlanta Wednesday night. But for Webber, a Michigan native, his familiarity with the Pistons' players and Coach Flip Saunders' system after playing there last season appears to make them the most desirable team.
The Pistons currently have the maximum 15 players on their roster after trading Nazr Mohammed to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Primoz Brezec and Walter Herrmann last week, so they would have to make another move to free a spot for Webber.
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